Almost a millennium ago (in internet time), Double Fine kickstarted the Kickstarter craze for the video game industry with what is now known as Broken Age. Since then, it seems nearly every game developer — indie or otherwise — has attempted to gain funding for a project through the crowdfunding platform. Now, even though Broken Age has yet to release, Double Fine is throwing another plea into the please-give-us-money engine in the form of Massive Chalice, a strategy RPG.
The game’s description wastes no time garnering the favor of every single SRPG fan, citing Fire Emblem, XCOM, and Final Fantasy Tactics as inspiration. If that weren’t enough, it then mentions the “array of noble families” found in Game of Thrones as another source of inspiration, going after the favor of the rest of the internet.
Aside from the sweet feeling you get from positioning a unit to the side or back of an enemy before an attack in order to gain a damage bonus, the main hook of Massive Chalice appears to be a multi-generational campaign in which you have to take care of your soliders so they can survive the war, retire as a soldier, then mate and generate offspring that can grow up to fight in the war. Permadeath, as the Kickstarter description says, is inevitable. If your character doesn’t die on the field, it will eventually die of old age, which is why you’d want to get your soldiers married off and mating before they can’t leave you with kids to thrust into the grim reality of war.
The multi-generational aspect isn’t just a gameplay gimmick, but woven into the story: The world is faced with a demonic invasion that’s said to last hundreds of years, and since people don’t last that long, they’ll need to make more people to continue the fight. The game employs some of the randomization found in roguelikes, as you start each game with a random set of units, and some events in the game happen randomly.
Since Double Fine, a Tim Schafer company, is hosting the Kickstarter, the video is actually pretty amusing — it’s a sketch rather than a bunch of people telling you how their Kickstarter project makes them feel instead of what it actually is. It involves beard-shaving and brain surgery.
The entry pledge runs $20, and will get you a copy of the game upon its release for Windows, Mac, or Linux, which will be free of DRM and available on Steam. A $50 pledge will net you early access, a soundtrack, behind-the-scenes videos, and a high-res art package. If you really love Tim Schafer (like the rest of us) and are rolling in dough (unlike the rest of us), you can pony up $10,000 to be invited to a board game night at Double Fine HQ in San Francisco.
Head on over to the Kickstarter campaign page and give Double Fine some money for what already sounds like will be good game.
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